Autumn… for a hot minute

Autumn is my favorite season.

Crisp morning air flows into warm days and then into perfectly cool nights. Activities in autumn are reflective and traditional… leaf peeping, apple picking, cooking hearty and soul warming meals, baking (of any kind), fire pits, big comfy sweaters and all those warm colors everywhere.

Perfect.

Autumn Leaves
Image Credit: https://www.ethos3.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/5-content-marketing-conferences-to-attend-in-fall-2016.jpg

This past weekend was a great glimpse into the season ahead. But it was just a tease. There will be summer days still ahead. And Indian Summer… that always pops up in late October without warning.

I can hardly wait for autumn to stick around for more than a few days. There were so many things my mom and I did during the fall. I’m really going to miss her as the season comes into its own. I’m not sure it’s possible to miss her any more than I do now, but I have a feeling today’s mourning is going to grow exponentially with each seasonal tradition that goes undone.

It’s been 144 days… not that I’m counting.

Cancer is such a bitch.

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Is this for real?

I’ve been a member of Influenster for several years now. I used to be much more active in their community but, as time went on, I lost interest. I recently started amping up my activity and was subsequently chosen to receive a sample of a new Perricone MD product to test out and review. Cool. Free skincare is my jam!

Fast forward a couple of weeks and this little cutie shows up on my doorstep.

One little 1oz bottle of serum that’s supposed to diminish my wrinkles (dare to dream!) and generally be a piece in the ‘fountain of youth’ puzzle. First thing I did was snap this pic. Then I opened the bottle and, as is my norm, smelled it and put a teeny drop on the back of my hand. First impressions… smells nice; not too perfumey; felt silky on my skin; absorbed really fast.

Tonight I decided to start the test for real. Now, the writing on the bottle is so small that there’s no way I could read it without a magnifying glass, so I went to Sephora’s app and found the product myself. Always easier to read directions on my iPad anyway. Before I could find the ‘how to use’ section I was stopped dead in my tracks.

That can’t be right. Can it? $179.00 for one ounce of this stuff? ONE OUNCE?! The only difference between the one they’re selling online and the one I received is that the one I got in the mail didn’t have an eye dropper. That’s it!

I washed my face and carefully put some of this magical potion on my skin. Smooth. Silky. Absorbent. Check, check and check. I can’t wait to check this out for a couple of weeks and see if I notice any kind of difference at all. Fingers crossed… $179.00. I still can’t get past the price!

Stay tuned…

This week though…

This was a very, very long week. Not quite sure why, but I do know it wasn’t just me. Every night that I left the office and rode the elevator down with people confirmed it… comments about how long the week is, how long the days are etc. were echoed by all. I’m sure the weather had something to do with it, but seriously… it was a hella long week.

I’ve felt lousy for a couple of days… feverish, body aches and a killer headache. I know I’m overtired but there’s something else going on. In my typical libra fashion… I try to self diagnose. I, in no way, shape or form, have any business trying to figure out anything medical, so I popped a couple of Tylenol and got on with it.

Today I went to have my yearly mammogram. First time in my life my mom didn’t accompany me. I was surprisingly fine… until I got back in the car. You see, not only did my mom and I do pretty much everything like this together but my appointment was in the same building where my mom had her chemo treatments.

Photo credit: Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

The last time I was in that building was April 18th… the day before she died. It’s truly an amazing facility filled with the most genuine, gifted and caring healthcare professionals. I had a little chat with my mom when I got back in the car, wiped my tears and headed on my way.

Photo credit: hiddenboston.com

I had brunch with one of mom’s closest friends at one of mom’s favorite places. I met yet another person who knew my mom and offered their condolences… which almost always makes me feel like I’m gonna lose it and start bawling right on the spot… but I held it together and had a lovely visit with a wonderful friend and her beautiful grandson.

I ran some errands and made it home between downpours. Chilled out for a bit and got a nice surprise when the mail came. Perfectly timed happy mail. I couldn’t have planned it better. Nothing earth shatteringly exciting, but it made my little planner nerd heart skip a beat.

Perfect way to end this crazy long week.

August… already!

It’s probably my busiest month… lots of things to celebrate, fresh air to breathe in and memories to make and fondly remember.

August came in hot… and humid. The A/C has been running 24/7 for the last week or more. On top of the high heat we’ve experienced some pretty strong storms. Downpours, thunder, lightning and flash flooding. It’s messed with some plans, but nothing 24 hours couldn’t fix.

A postponed party on Saturday afternoon led to a night of margaritas and Mexican food with my two bffs followed by a Sunday of mimosas and bbq to celebrate two adorable little boys. Not a bad weekend at all.

I got some fun happy mail this week too. A couple of enamel pins from Papa Llama brightened my week. The functional introverts pin matches my favorite tote! I’m really pleased with this Etsy purchase… one of the better ones, I’d say.

So far, so good in August. Lots more to come!

Summer Sunday

My favorite moments are unplanned and genuine and those that bring happiness. I had one of those this morning. I made breakfast for my dad and myself. We do big breakfasts on Sundays around here. Today it was French toast with bacon and fresh fruit.

After breakfast, both Zoey, my 13 year old Cairn Terrier, and Lola, my mom’s 13 year old Cockapoo, has a bite of French toast sans syrup from my dad. I had saved them each a wedge of watermelon.

Zoey is just one of those dogs that you marvel at. Her disposition and temperament are just fantastic. I’m so, so lucky that she’s mine. She’s pretty cute too. She is also the foodiest dog I’ve ever had. Zoey loves to eat but definitely has her favorites. One of them is watermelon. She came outside with me and could barely contain herself when she saw the watermelon wedges. Since Lola didn’t want to join us, Zoey got them both.

It was just a few minutes but cherished none the less. My mom would have loved it, which makes it even more special. Just a small few moments in time that will truly stay with me. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to have meaning, and this one proves it for me ❤️

Cooking up a storm

An awful lot has changed since my mom passed away in April. It’s been the longest and most heart wrenching three months of my life.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in a short amount of time. I’ve found strength I didn’t know I had. I’ve grown even closer to my dad and for that I am so thankful.

I’ve also stepped up my cooking skills. I’m trying to meal plan but I’m not great at it yet. I downloaded Mealime and found some great, easy and tasty recipes that I’ve been able to whip up for dad and my dinner. I need to get better (a LOT better) at the whole food prep thing. Serving dinner at 8pm isn’t good for either of us.

But… those meals have been worth the wait. I’m pretty happy with myself in executing these new recipes well enough to get yummy noises from my dad… who equates “it’s fine” for what anyone else would call “delicious”.

I’ve asked him… same thing! So funny.

Here’s the top five… so far:

Korean short ribs, dumplings, rice and stir fried veggies

Tuesday got me like… ugh.

I woke up today. That’s a tick in the plus column.

Got out of the house on time and made it to the dintist early. Two more boxes ticked!

Picked up Starbucks for my faves and lunch for five of us on my way in to the office. I’m on a roll!

Queue the dead stop…

It’s hazy, hot and humid. My office is on the 6th floor. All three (yes, THREE) building elevators are down. Down as in inoperable… broken… trying to kill me.

Me with my handbag that I affectionately refer to as luggage, my full work tote, two bags of groceries/lunch and a full tray of venti coffees and water; staring at these stairs like something is going to change. It didn’t.

It was a grueling climb up to the 6th floor. The only upside was that since I brought lunch I wouldn’t have to leave and neither would a few of my friends. Sometimes I have the good sense to follow my intuition. I’m thankful that today was one of those days.

End of the day… eight hours later… lifts are fixed, right? Umm… no. Building management emails and lets us know that the mechanics are on site and will stay until the elevators are fixed. Or… not. Another email when I got home let me know the elevators will NOT be working tomorrow either. For real? Really. For real!

I wonder if the cafe is going to be crowded… because that’s where I’ll be until those suckers are fixed!